Braves snap 4-game los­ing streak be­hind Free­man, Tous­saint

The Myanmar Times - Weekend - - Sport -

FRED­DIE Free­man spent the pre­vi­ous four sea­sons play­ing for an At­lanta team that av­er­aged 90 losses a year.

Now that the Braves are back chal­leng­ing for a di­vi­sion ti­tle, the All-star first base­man knows his club can’t af­ford any long los­ing streaks.

“It’s been four days, so I thought this was a big win for our team,” Free­man said. “I thought we played a qual­ity base­ball game to­day and hope­fully we can carry that into this Philly se­ries.”

Free­man hit a two-run homer and drove in three runs, Touki Tous­saint pitched into the sixth in­ning and the NL East-lead­ing Braves snapped a four-game skid with a 7-3 vic­tory over the St. Louis Car­di­nals on Wed­nes­day.

It was a crit­i­cal win for At­lanta, which is 5½ games ahead of the sec­ond-place Phillies and opens a fourgame home se­ries against them on Thurs­day. Philadelphia blanked the New York Mets 4-0 on Wed­nes­day night.

The Braves have a magic num­ber of six over Philadelphia to clinch their first di­vi­sion ti­tle since 2013.

St. Louis, which had won three straight, trails Mil­wau­kee by three games for the top NL wild card but leads Colorado by 1½ games for the sec­ond spot. The Rock­ies lost 5-2 at Dodger Sta­dium.

At­lanta closer A.J. Min­ter, work­ing in a non-save sit­u­a­tion in the ninth, walked two to load the bases, but he ended it by strik­ing out Jose Martinez and get­ting Paul Dejong to pop up. Free­man’s 23rd homer, an op­po­site-field shot to left-cen­ter, put the Braves up 2-0 in the fourth against Jack Fla­herty. Free­man went 3 for 3 and is hit­ting .405 over his past 11 games.

“He’s get­ting the ball in the air, and it’s car­ry­ing, and that’s al­ways a good thing,” man­ager Brian Snitker said. “That’s a wel­comed sight if we can get him go­ing.”

Tous­saint (2-1) al­lowed five hits, two runs, three walks and struck out eight in 5 2/3 in­nings. A rookie mak­ing his fourth ca­reer start, Tous­saint was chased af­ter Yadier Molina’s RBI sin­gle cut the lead to 5-2 in the sixth.

“We sur­vived the first cou­ple of in­nings with es­sen­tially zero fast­ball com­mand, then sud­denly we had some de­cent com­mand of it and were able to flip the script and chal­lenge guys with some early con­tacts,” Braves catcher Tyler Flow­ers said. “If he gets ahead of guys, it’s a tough ar­se­nal to de­fend.” – AP

Photo: AP

At­lanta Braves’ Fred­die Free­man (5), right, and Nick Markakis (22) cel­e­brate af­ter de­feat­ing St. Louis Car­di­nals 7-3 in a base­ball game on Wed­nes­day in At­lanta.

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